Riggs Ambulance Donates Late-night Service for CatTracks

MERCED, CA— In response to a demonstrated need and as a public service in the interest of student and community safety, Merced business Riggs Ambulance Service (RAS) will sponsor a new, late-night service as a part of UC Merced's CatTracks shuttle schedule on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The extended "Nite Cat" service hours will provide safe transportation back to the UC Merced campus following late-night activities, serving local residential, dining and entertainment locations. UC Merced students, faculty and staff can ride CatTracks.

"This generous offer from RAS will improve options for our students and help them interact with the rest of Merced in a more convenient and satisfying way," said UC Merced Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jane Lawrence. "We're very grateful and pleased that RAS has been such a thoughtful friend in extending CatTracks service at no cost to the university."

"RAS will pay the complete additional hourly costs of the extended service, including vehicles, fuel and drivers," said Kraig Riggs, owner of RAS. "We want to provide an alternative to dangerous late-night driving for students on their way home from movies, work, restaurants, bars or other locations. "

VIA Adventures, owned by another branch of the Riggs family, has provided CatTracks service under contract to UC Merced since the shuttle service began last fall. In the first semester, CatTracks was especially important; several laboratory classes were held at UC Merced's Castle facility since the facilities in the Science and Engineering Building on campus were not yet ready.

The Science and Engineering Building and the Classroom and Office Building are now open to serve UC Merced students. The shuttle schedule has changed accordingly; it now runs from Castle to campus every hour from 7 a.m. 6 p.m. It runs from campus to Castle every half hour from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Campus officials have made a thorough review of the Cat Tracks service to optimize its accessibility and usefulness for the campus community. Other changes to the service include changing the primary campus shuttle stop from Muir Pass to the front of the Kolligian Library, a more convenient location for students, and adding an Amtrak shuttle stop to the Monday - Friday evening "D-Line" shuttle route.

The complete CatTracks schedule for the new semester, including times for the Nite Cat loop donated by RAS, can be found at taps.ucmerced.eduthrough the CatTracks Shuttle link on the left-hand side.

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